Loss can be experienced in various forms from loss of employment, good health, your home, identity, financial security, mental well-being, possessions to an overall loss of stability which can feel quite frightening when it happens. The term loss does not just specifically refer to the word ‘bereavement’. We can also feel a sense of loss when moving from one developmental stage to another e.g. from the teenage years into adulthood or with the onset of middle or old age. Parents can also experience loss when a child leaves home and vice versa e.g. going away to study, work or moving in with a partner. During the life cycle, each and every one of us will experience some form of loss or another which is often ‘mourned’ like a death because of the sense of emptiness and sorrow that may be felt at the time. Not everyone experiences loss in the same manner and it varies from individual to individual depending on a host of factors. For some the effects can be quite crippling and traumatic whilst others are able to take it in their stride and cope with painful emotions as a result of the specific loss.
The myriad of emotions stirred up by loss can fluctuate from day to day. It is not uncommon to feel quite low and slip into a state of ‘melancholia’ or to blame one’s self for what has happened even though responsibility may lay elsewhere. To compound matters, if it has not been possible to successfully mourn a previous loss then the sorrow for that loss is transferred onto any future loss that occurs. This pattern may continue to repeat itself until it becomes possible to successfully mourn the past loss and eventually let go of it.
Some common symptoms of loss are:
Counselling, Psychotherapy and Specialist Mentoring can all be very helpful when it comes to coping and dealing with loss. Being able to talk to someone who understands what you are experiencing can help speed up the healing process, allowing you to eventually replace feelings of profound loss with those of acceptance and hope, thereby improving your overall well-being.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid but he who conquers that fear.” – Nelson Mandela